People Inc.’s Senior Companion Program assists seniors who have difficulty with daily living tasks so that they can retain their dignity and independence. Among other activities, the Senior Companion may assist with tasks, such as grocery shopping and errands; providing friendship and companionship; alerting doctors and family members to potential problems and providing respite for caregivers.
Senior Companions are volunteers age 55 years or older from Erie County who meet income eligibility requirements. They serve frail older adults, adults with disabilities and those with terminal illnesses. Senior Companions are supervised by the professional staff of People Inc. and other collaborating agencies.
All Senior Companions receive 20 hours of pre-service orientation, as well as four hours of in-service training monthly. In total, senior companions complete 40 hours of orientation training. Most Senior Companions have had previous experience in caring for the elderly. Senior Companions earn a tax-free hourly stipend plus travel and meal reimbursement.